aspens leaves and snow

Wow, this is some state. We’ve taken several day trips in the past couple of weeks to see the fall colors and check whether the high peaks have snow yet. Do I miss the maples of New England. Yes. But the aspens here are stunning and there’s enough variety in trees that we do get some oranges and even a few reds in the turning leaves. None of the burgundies a sugar maple can reach, but the rest.

We took our first trip toward the end of September, up into the nearest Front Range canyons and peaks. Above us by two or three thousand feet was Mount Evans, which was having a snow storm while we watched. Where we were it was chilly (43 degrees) but sunny. I love the various climates you can go through, as you go up a mountain.

panoramasnow

We were retracing a route Lauren took, when she and Jon went on a hike up Chief Mountain earlier in the month.

I didn’t do the hike–my knees are improved but not there yet–but we did a walk to Luka’s and Button’s delight–lots of wonderful new smells, apparently. Bears? Mountain lions?

These are the views…the snow storm is on Mount Evans.

And then a few days later, the four of us  headed out again, ostensibly to see Leadville, the highest currently inhabited place in Colorado. It consistently has the lowest temperature on the weather maps. Our real objective was to see some new parts of the state and to get into the higher country.

The way in to Leadville was decidedly different from the way out — amazing the difference a notch makes. In, it was like a moonscape. Out, it was deep scary canyons (although as a driving vet of Mt Evans, I was calm and cool because nothing is so bad as the final section of the so-called road up Mt Evans). Another glimpse into the past, too, because one of the valleys hosted the 10th Mountain division of the World War II army (they were training for fighting in the Alps) and a POW camp. buttonaspens mondaycabin

This is Button, getting some air. We walked them around but it’s never enough when there are new smells and sights….



Finally we went out last Thursday to a place called Golden Gate Canyon Park–about an hour west of here and then another hour in the park looking for the reputed vistas. Well, they do exist and they are spectacular.

gg canyon 2


ggcanyon 3And this is why I am not homesick. Besides that fact that this is now my home. This place is spectacular. And the mountains soothe my soul.